BENJAMIN is 30 years old when his fellow citizens recognize his merits by electing him to his first political post. He becomes clerk of the Pennsylvania General Assembly without opposition. In the following year a new member makes a speech against him in favour of another candidate. Ben wins, but thereafter he keeps his eye on the new member. He finds this gentleman is likely to be a person of influence. He takes thought and hits upon a typical scheme. He hears that this man owns a certain rare and curious book. Ben therefore writes to him, politely requesting the loan of it. The owner sends it promptly. Ben returns it in a week, carefully accompanying it with a letter of profuse thanks. The new member is touched. When next he meets Ben, he speaks to him for the first time and with great civility. He afterwards goes out of his way, to do Ben other favours. From this Ben draws a sage conclusion:
"He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged."
It is at this moment that B. Franklin, politician, is born.
But whatever illusions he has about the thrills of parliamentary life are dispelled when he finds that, as Assembly clerk, he must be present and listen to hour upon hour of tedious speeches emanating from unicellular egotists.
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Publication information: Book title: Benjamin Franklin, the First Civilized American. Contributors: Phillips Russell - Author. Publisher: Brentano's. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1926. Page number: 145.
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